167th Airlift Wing staff sergeant competes in CrossFit Quarterfinals

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle
  • 167th Airlift Wing

Staff Sgt. Caley Arndt, a services specialist for the 167th Force Support Squadron and active member of the base honor guard, fell in love with CrossFit when she was just 11 years old.

“I played travel softball and was behind and my dad said ‘you need to get stronger and faster. Let’s do CrossFit,’” said Arndt. “It made a huge difference, the next year I was much stronger and faster.”

Now at age 23, she ranks among the top ten percent of CrossFit athletes worldwide. The feat is not surprising considering she was named “Strongest Female in the U.S. Air Forces Central AOR” during her deployment to United Arab Emirates in 2021.

Arndt ranked 741st out of more than 300,000 competitors during the 2023 CrossFit Games Worldwide Open in February, earning her a spot to compete in the quarterfinals in March.

In the quarterfinals, a virtual event which included five workouts over four days, Arndt did front squats, handstand walks, pull-ups, muscle-ups, burpee box jumps, rope climbs, clean-and-jerks, deadlifts and more to raise her ranking to 702 worldwide.

For each workout she submitted her scores and corresponding video for review. Her favorite workout, five rounds for time of five 24” burpee box jumps and one 185-pound clean and jerk, earned her a 20th place finish in the North America East region. She would’ve placed even higher if it weren’t for a five second penalty for someone adjusting the plate on her barbell, she explained.

Arndt credits her sport to positively benefitting other areas of her life, especially since she’s started coaching others.

“I think I’ve developed leadership skills and time management skills,” Arndt said. “Teaching proper technique for the movements and getting the classes through a warm-up, strength training and a metabolic conditioning workout builds communication skills. Also, when I take my fitness test here there’s no stress because I know I’m prepared.”

Arndt, who recently started a new job working as a budget analyst for a government contractor, has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and she’s a few credits from earning her master’s in business administration. She intends to continue serving in the Air National Guard and eventually earn a military retirement.

Although she didn’t advance to the CrossFit Games Semifinals this year, she’s hopeful she’ll advance further next year. In the meantime, she’ll continue to compete in team competitions with her training partner and best friend.